I sometimes imagine I could speak to my inner child; I mean really speak to her. I’d ask her about all of the twists and turns in life that made me who stands here today.
I’d see her with a shimmery yellow ribbon tied around her little wrist, binding us together, never to be lost as we get ready to journey down Memory Lane.
Hold tight, Little One!
I watch her eyes as I talk about events that occurred in my life. I see fireflies dance across her face, and suddenly, I can smell the peaty moss as we recall squatting, then leaping onto a tree limb, and watching fairies and angels flit from flower to flower alongside dragonflies and loud bees below us, then instantly, a dark movement skids across our peripheral.
Cold dread turns our heads to the Angry One looming over us, even as we’re perched precariously on that branch. The buoyant joy is immediately wrenched away, replaced with fear as quickly as a magician fools the eye.
It’s time to PULL, and pull quickly with every ounce of strength, that yellow ribbon also attached to my adult wrist. Phew! You’re safe, Little One!
Eventually, we return to moments that felt like small havens, and to moments that felt like Hell. My little heart beat faster than a hummingbird at times, equally for both cheerful and horribly frightful reasons, recalling memories.
As I look upon her now, I realize that I was searching the length of that ribbon for a precise moment in time that gave me the courage to continue, despite the Angry One, the Gnarly Growler, the Pain Seeker, the Heart Destroyer… It occurs to me that this whole time, I never saw the light that burned so brilliantly and otherworldly inside her. Where did that come from, Little One?!
Her gaze fell upon me, and slowly her chin rose higher and higher until her eyes locked behind the artwork that became the galaxies. She closed her eyes and smiled a smile that can only be described as the purest form of joy, free from even a trace of darkness… and I understood.
Instead of me speaking to my Inner Child, she spoke to me, reminding me that the Heavenly Light has always been a part of me. I look along the roughly soiled and aged yellow ribbon attached to me. Naturally, I observe all of the nicks and imperfections, the tear stains, and grime that has been gathered from being gripped or dragged throughout my life. I also peer a little closer and see that many of the creases and mars contain traces of a glorious shine, like having been smoothed over and over until it’s feathery soft.
This marks my grace.
These scars and these gentle spots I hold tightly in my grasp.
I never let go. The Heavenly Light never let go of me, either… He made me strong and brave to leave behind the wretched, painful dark. He also permanently lit my heart, kept it soft, and kind, and good so that I can harbor the warm, wonderful memories, and continue with hope along the fresh, new, untouched ribbon that’s still left to unspool throughout my life to come.
I take my Inner Child by both hands this time, and I give her an encouraging wink.
Hold on tight, Little One; there’s so much more story to write.
SueAnn Summers Griessler